When Dennis Holdren parked in victory lane at South Boston Speedway late on the evening of April 28, it was obviously an emotional moment.
It took the veteran driver a few minutes to collect himself before crawling out of his car. Then, during his Victory Lane interview, his voice cracked a few times.
“It was a great night for us,” Holdren understated earlier this week as he recalled the night.
It was easy to understand the emotion of the moment. It was his first win at South Boston Speedway after many attempts at the historic track. And it marked the rebirth of the Mod 4 Division, a division Holdren has enjoyed success in much of his career.
When the division was left without a home after another track in the region closed during the offseason, South Boston welcomed the group of four-cylinder rear-wheel drive cars
“I’ve been racing at South Boston for probably 15 years in different divisions, so it felt good to finally be in victory lane,” said Holdren. “Anytime you put it on the pole and lead all the laps it’s a great night.
“I feel good about the series … it was an awesome night for the series. I thought things went well for our first night here.”
The Mod 4 series will be back in action Saturday night at South Boston Speedway in the Danville Toyota presents the Bojangles NASCAR Late Model 100.
The 52-year-old Holdren has been racing since 1995. He started in a Limited Division car and immediately moved up to Late Models the following year. He stayed in the Late Models for a while, switched to the Mod 4 series and then went back Late Model racing in the late 2000s. He’s run in some of the biggest Late Model races, including the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown and the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway.
These days, though, even though he still has a couple of Late Models in his Roanoke shop, he is concentrating on the Mod 4 season at South Boston.
“I mainly moved back (to the Mod 4 division) for the economics of it and because the whole family had one … me, my brother and my dad all had them,” said Holdren, who owns Hannabass and Rowe, an auto collision business with two locations in Roanoke.
“The tires cost less, the motor is less, everything is less. It’s just more cost effective.”
But Holdren has already rolled out his Late Model for two events at other tracks in the region this season, winning one. Could he wind up doing double duty at South Boston one night?
“I still have the Late Models, so who knows, I may do that one night at South Boston,” he said.
There will be six races across five divisions, Saturday night including a 100-lap Late Model race, 50 lap Limited race, twin 15-lap Budweiser Pure Stock races, a 15-lap Budweiser Hornets race and a 30-lap Mod 4 race.
Tickets are $10 for adults and children 12 and under will be admitted free with a paying adult. Gates open at 5:30 with the first race set for 7 p.m.